Finimpact

Best Small Business Loans For Minorities

Minority business owners sometimes find it difficult to secure funding from traditional financial institutions for reasons that range from limited credit history to illegal discriminatory lending practices. Minority business owners may find more success when moving away from traditional banks and...

Loans For Minorities
Michelle Jackson
Written by:Michelle Jackson
Freelance Financial Writer and Online Business Coach

For minority business owners gaining access to additional funding can often be a confusing process to work through with entrepreneurs asking themselves the following questions: which financial institutions should they work with, what are the lending criteria in order to be approved for the funding that they seek and are the lending institutions that they are reaching out to going to offer a positive experience for the entrepreneur.

The final question that many minority business owners may find themselves asking is the following-are there financial products and organizations that meet their current unique needs that they can continue to work with as their business grows?

Our Top Picks for Small Business Loans For Minorities

biz2credit review
  • Multiple loan types available
  • Funding in 48h
  • Soft credit pull
credit score
Min. Credit Score 600+
loan amount
Loan Amount $25K - $6M
loan repayment
Loan Repayment 12-36 months
bluevine
  • Quick and simple application
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Available to customers with relatively low credit scores
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 600+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $5K-$250K
loan repayment
Loan Repayment 6-12 months
fundingcircle
  • No minimum annual revenue requirement
  • Few restrictions to your loan purpose
  • Quick and straightforward application
Credit Score
Min. Credit Score 660+
Loan Amount
Loan Amount $25K-$500K
Loan Repayment
Loan Repayment Up to 10 years

How to Choose the Best Small Business Loan for Minorities?

Minority entrepreneurs are able to access loan products that have been specifically designed to address the financial needs of historically underrepresented and underfunded communities.

  • Loan Features-Loans designed to aid minority business development may have unique features designed to provide better assistance to borrowers than traditional loan products. These features could include things such as more flexible loan terms, business support as a part of the loan package and if the lender offers adjustable or fixed rate loans.
  • Application Process-The application and qualification process for minority business loans should be the same as any other loan product. Applicants will need to provide documentation that gives insight into their financial needs, the health of their business and have the ability to repay their loans per the terms of their agreement
  • Interest Rates and Fees-There are a few strategies that can help entrepreneurs find loans with the most competitive interest rates. First, borrowers should focus on strengthening and cleaning up their personal and business credit scores as needed. The higher their scores, the more likely that their loan interest rates will be lower.
  • Qualification Process-One significant aspect of the loan qualification process that may differ with minority business loans may be the overall design of the loan product and qualification process as designed by the lender. Typically, these financial products are designed to increase accessibility and the lender may decide to have a wider credit score range, or accept applications from entrepreneurs who have been in business for a shorter period of time.
  • Customer support-There are a wide range of minority communities needing different types of customer support. Companies will need to decide what is the best support process for their team. Do they need ADA compliant support for hard of hearing or visually empared colleagues? Or, does the loan company offer a chat feature or US based customer support.
  • Online User Reviews-Future customers should research reviews shared by current and previous customers on trusted review sources such as Trustpilot.
  • Perks and Bonuses-Occasionally, loan products may offer perks and bonuses that may be an additional incentive to work with a specific company. These perks and bonuses could include discounts on a product or one time financial incentives.

Best Online Business Loans for Minorities

Minority business owners have a wide variety of lenders to work with when looking for the right financial product for their needs. Lending is no longer limited to traditional spaces such as banks and credit unions. Online lenders may also be more accessible to borrowers who are finding it difficult to work with traditional banking partners. Online lenders may have uniquely designed loan products looking to serve very specific customer segments with those products.

1. Biz2Credit best for working capital loans

Biz2Credit is best for smaller sized minority businesses needing additional working capital to help keep their business afloat.


Customers needing working capital loans are able to request loans ranging between $25,000-$2,000,000 dollars. This funding can be used to help businesses pay their staff, invest in inventory or manage other daily expenses. Biz2Credit allows qualified borrowers with credit scores of 580 or more and an annual revenue of $250,000 to request working capital loans. What’s unique about Biz2Credit is that newer small businesses are eligible for this lending product.

The Bottom Line

For minority business owners looking for a company with a high rate of client satisfaction, Biz2Credit may be the right company to partner with on their next working capital loan.

2. BlueVine - Best for Invoice Factoring

Some businesses may find that they’re needing access to funds irregularly or when unexpected bills crop up. For example, if a refrigerator breaks at a restaurant or a delivery truck needs to be purchased quickly due to business growth. Lines of credit gives business access to a specific amount of money that can be used to pay back during a determined amount of time.


What’s attractive about BlueVine is that borrowers with a minimum 600 credit score can go through the easy application process in order to make their loan request. Entrepreneurs in business for 6 months are eligible to apply for a BlueVine line of credit as long as they meet other qualifying standards. Currently, BlueVine charges no fees with loan rates as low as 4.8%.

BlueVine is an online lender that offers short-term loans and lines of credit of up to $250,000 with a one-year repayment term or invoice factoring up to $5 million for monthly invoices.

To qualify, you’ll need:

  • A 600 credit score
  • To show annual business revenue of at least $100,000

The Bottom Line

Minority entrepreneurs who have relatively new businesses may want to give BlueVine’s line of credit a second glance. With low initial rates and application eligibility for newer business owners, BlueVine has the potential of being a useful financial partner for newer companies.

3. Funding Circle - best for business term loans

For minority business owners looking for term loans, Funding Circle may be an attractive product to use due to the flexibility of its term loan product. Well-established businesses looking for term loans, Funding Circle provides a solid product. Term loans allow entrepreneurs to borrow a set amount of money for a specific duration or term before it needs to be paid back in full.


Customers enjoyed having access to varying terms, a fairly quick approval process and the ability to use the funds for whatever they felt was needed for their business. It’s important to note that this product is best for entrepreneurs with personal credit scores of 660 or higher. Funding Circle was rated an average of 4.6 stars out of 5 by customers on Trustpilot.

It’s important to note that Funding Circle is the only lender on this list that is an approved SBA 7 (a) loan partner. This type of loan allows companies to borrow up to a maximum of $5 million and may be a more attractive funding alternative to the term business loan previously shared. For entrepreneurs considering an SBA loan, do note that the lending process tends to be much more rigorous than what they may experience with other loans.

Positive comments ranged from happiness with the ease of the application process and the relative speed of receiving requested funds. There was some dissatisfaction around the way Funding Circle is marketing potential clients making them feel like they’re being spammed.

Currently, customers can contact Funding Circle via email, phone or their customer portal. And, there is no chat feature available on the main website at this point in time.

The Bottom Line

Funding Circle clients really enjoyed their funding experience with Funding Circle. And clients looking for an approved SBA lender, Funding Circle may be the right partner for that funding.

4.Kabbage - best for capital lines of credit

Kabbage primarily works to fund and provide business tools for small businesses. In addition to approving capital lines of credit, Kabbage also has a fee free online checking account product for customers. Minority entrepreneurs needing smaller capital lines of credit may find Kabbage’s capital line of credit a helpful way to address short-term financial needs that crop up during a business’s life cycle.


Entrepreneurs in business for at least 12 months are eligible to apply for a line of credit as long as they meet all of the borrowing criteria. Borrowers can request up to $1,000 to $150,000 for terms up to 18 months. There are limited fees with customers being charged a monthly fee for any outstanding balance. Borrowers aren’t charged origination fees or other miscellaneous fees typically connected to this type of loan.

Kabbage uses a hard pull during the application approval process. Currently, Kabbage doesn’t disclose the ideal minimum credit score on its website; potential borrowers should proceed with caution and those with lower scores may want to work on their credit before applying for a capital line of credit with Kabbage.

Trustpilot reviews were mixed. Customers left an average of 3.4 stars out of 5 with many customers expressing that the application process was more confusing than they’d anticipated.

That confusion led to some clients expressing dissatisfaction with their overall customer experience.

Kabbage provides customers with robust help center resources, phone and email access in addition to support via the client portal. Kabbage doesn’t offer a chat feature on its main website at this time.

The Bottom Line

For minority business owners who have been in business for a shorter period of time, a Kabbage Line of Credit may be a helpful way to manage the unexpected dips in cash flow that occur when running a business.

5.Fora Financial - best for merchant cash advances

For minority businesses looking for a financial partner that has flexible borrowing terms, is comfortable working with a wide range of service based industry businesses then Fora Financial may be the right financial partner for their needs.


Currently the minimum borrower credit score needed for a Fora Financial loan is proprietary information. With that in mind, it’s important for potential customers to take that into consideration and focus on strengthening their credit score if needed.

Fora Financial’s merchant cash advance is a lump sum that is available once a request for funding has been approved. Approved borrowers can borrow a maximum of $750,000 depending on their company’s financials. One feature that is appealing to borrowers is the lack of limits on how a loan can be used. Borrowers can determine how to best use their cash advance. Another attractive feature is the prepayment discount for companies who would like to pay off their cash advance quickly.

The Bottom Line

Minority entrepreneurs looking for a cash advance product with flexible terms and the ability to earn a discount for paying off their loan early may find Fora Financial to be a useful financial partner.

Best Alternative Business Loans for Minorities Feature Comparison

Alternative business loans allow entrepreneurs to access resources such as loans and other financial tools much earlier in their businesses lifecycle than if they tried to work with traditional lenders. Entrepreneurs are better able to address unexpected growth and the financial investments needed to manage those moments in their business.

The chart below sheds some insight into how quickly entrepreneurs in solid financial standing can work with one or more of the organizations listed below.

Company
Min. Credit Score Min. Time in Business Min. Annual Revenue Loan Amount (Maximum)
Biz2Credit 580 6 months
$250,000 $250,000
BlueVine 600 6 months $120,000 $250,000
Funding Circle 660 2 years Not Available, but Funding Circle seems to prefer higher annual revenues than other companies in this table
$500,000
Kabbage N/A N/A
N/A $150,000
Fora Financial
N/A 6 months
$12,000 minimum in gross sales $750,000


U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Minorities

The SBA provides comprehensive and unique resources to help all small businesses succeed. However, the SBA also has developed some additional services focused on creating an eco-system for the healthy development of minority run businesses.

This support includes mentorship, building entrepreneurial communities and funding for the different underserved communities seeking their support.

  • SBA 7(a)-This program has the goal of funding small businesses up to a maximum of $350,000. A unique feature is the speed in processing and approval of applications.
  • SBA Community Advantage Loans-Established in 2011, the SBA Community Advantage Loan program has the goal of increasing underserved communities’ access to credit.
  • SBA Microloan Program-Lending intermediaries work with smaller businesses needing funding. The maximum loaned out via this program is $50,000 and borrowers are able to use the funds as needed with the exception of paying off debts or making real estate purchases.
  • HubZone Contract Program that is focused on providing up to 3% of Federal Contracts to underserved communities.

It’s important to note that the SBA partners with lending organizations that work with minority-run businesses at the local level instead of offering unique loans designed specifically with minority entrepreneurs in mind.

Nonprofit Loans and Other Lending Programs

Minority business owners aren’t limited to seeking funding from traditional financial institutions such as banks or online service providers. There are numerous local, national, non-profit and for profit organizations designed to support unique communities through thoughtfully designed resources that traditional lenders might not be able to provide.

Union Bank’s Business Diversity Lending This organization works with underserved communities by providing a variety of loan and banking products. Qualified customers can receive up to $2.5 million in funding and Union Bank provides Minority Business Certification assistance through its certification center, a key component to proving a business is minority owned.

Accion-This organization focuses on providing inclusive financial services and partnerships. Accion helps small businesses around the globe via equity investments, business advising and partnerships.

Kiva-For businesses looking for a crowdfunding platform to fund their business, Kiva provides comprehensive support for micro entrepreneurs. Kiva has a global audience but also provides services for US based entrepreneurs. For individuals looking to donate and lend funds to entrepreneurs, Kiva borrowers have a 96% repayment rate.

The Business Consortium Fund (BCF) This fund is part of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The Fund makes available microloans that range between $10,000-$75,000 for qualified businesses. Loaned funds can only be used in ways that are determined by BCF.

Indian Loan Guarantee Program-This program is available to enrolled members of tribes in the United States. In addition to being an enrolled member of a tribe, the company seeking funds must be at least 51% minority owned with a specific focus on elevating and uplifting Native American Communities through the services provided by the company.

Community Development Financial Institution Loans (CDFI)-CDFI patterns with financial institutions across the United States. Currently, there are a little over 1,000 member institutions that make on the ground lending decisions that are unique to the communities that each partner serves.

Accompany Capital-Immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs face an uphill battle in establishing credit, access to resources and receiving funding. Accompany Capital helps these unique groups gain access to credit via microloans, lines of credit and small business loans.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Business and Industry Loan-This program partners with financial institutions who will then distribute and loan these funds to applicants who meet a predetermined criteria. Applicants’ projects should be based in a rural location. The Business and Industry Loan is not specifically targeted towards minority business owners.

What is a minority-owned business?

In order to be designated a minority owned business, there is a very straightforward threshold. A business must have a minimum of 51% ownership stake by a person or persons who are considered a member of a minority group. This would include: African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans and women to name a few communities.

Who qualifies for minority small business loans?

For businesses seeking small business loans designated for minority entrepreneurs they must meet the criteria set by the lender. In addition to meeting a minimum minority owned ownership threshold, businesses may also be required to show the following minimum qualifying criteria: a minimum or maximum yearly revenue as determined by the lender, a minimum credit score and other details as determined by the potential lender.

How do you apply for business loans for minorities?

The loan application process may vary depending on the specific lender that a minority entrepreneur is borrowing from. The following is a general look at the business loan application process

  • Decide on the purpose of the loan being requested. Understanding this piece of information will help guide the entrepreneur find the right lending partner.
  • Once a lending partner has been decided upon the entrepreneur should do the following:
    • Collect all necessary documentation. These documents would include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
      • Previous years’ tax returns
      • Profit and loss statements
      • Proof of collateral depending on the type of loan being requested.
      • Be prepared for a credit check. This check could include a hard or soft pull.
  • Once an applicant is approved for a loan they should review the loan terms and then use the funds as agreed upon within their loan agreement.

It’s important to note that minority business loans may have a slightly different use case and community focus but the application process would be the same as any loan product

Small Business Grants and Additional Resources for Minorities

There are other funding options that are available to minority businesses. Grant programs are a wonderful way to find funding for specific areas of one’s business. They are very attractive for the following reason: grants do not need to be paid back.

There are numerous national and local programs that have grant programs or offer professional services for free or at minimal cost. These services are usually designed to help business owners gain access to mentorship, funding programs or professional projects that would be difficult to gain access to without guidance and support from an organization advocating on behalf of minority entrepreneurs.

SBA 8(a) business development program-For entrepreneurs looking to gain access to government contracts, the SBA 8 (a) program helps qualified businesses work for the Federal Government through Sole Source Contracts. This allows businesses to avoid going through the bidding process in order to be granted a Federal contract.

SCORE-For first time business owners or owners looking for professional support and mentorship. SCORE connects people with mentors who can help entrepreneurs gain access to business focused support for free. For entrepreneurs looking for a SCORE mentor, they can be found across the US

Small-business grants-Grant funding can be an attractive way to pay for specific components to a business. Grants can be challenging in that they can be a little time consuming to research. But, for entrepreneurs who have a system in place to find and apply for small business grants, this type of funding is a great way to grow a business. Small business grants can be found via the SBA, your local municipality or your state. There are numerous national grants and

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)-Starting a business is difficult, dealing with expansion and the growth of a business is even more challenging. MBDA works with entrepreneurs during that expansion and growth season of their business

First Nations Development Institute Grant-Grants issued by the First Nations Development Institute are specifically focused on the economic betterment of Native American communities. With that in mind, businesses that are focused on serving Native American communities are the most likely to win grants issued by this agency.

National Minority Business Council-This non-profit organization helps to connect minority businesses with adjacent professional support. The National Minority Business Council also seeks to create a community ecosystem that provides business support and resources to its members

Conclusion

For minority owned businesses there are numerous resources and opportunities to access the resources needed to grow a business. For companies looking for loans, professional support or grant programs it’s highly likely that there is a program that will fit your business needs.

With the growth of financial institutions that aren’t constrained by tradition, minority business owners have the chance to access lending products that are specifically designed to meet their current needs and help with their business growth

Related Loan Picks

About the Author

Michelle Jackson

Freelance Financial Writer and Online Business Coach

Michelle Jackson is the host of the podcast "Michelle is Money Hungry." Her goal is to transform people's financial lives through increased financial knowledge.

More about me